Does cohabitation after filing for divorce mean that the initial filing is void?

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Does cohabitation after filing for divorce mean that the initial filing is void?

After enduring years of mental and emotional domestic abuse, my sister made the decision for herself and my nephew to leave her husband. At the time that they separated (after living with me in another county for 30 days) my sister filed for divorce only to find out that her husband had filed 10 days earlier in his county. After counseling they reconciled and she went home. Now after 4 months she removed herself and my nephew (11 months old) from their home again after several incidents of physical domestic abuse.

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Family Law, Arkansas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If a spouse decides to file for divorce while living separate and apart from the other spouse and then there is an attempt of a reconciliation where the spouses begin cohabitating with each other after the dissoultion petition has been filed but before a final decree of dissolution or before the dismissal of the petition for dissolution, the cohabitation has no effect at all concerning the desire for divorce.

If your sister filed for a marital dissolution and then decided to live with her spouse the living with the spouse pending the dissolution petition has no effect upon it at all. There have been circumstances where parties file their divorce proceeding and continue to live with each other during the time period where the divorce has not been finalized and after the divorce has been finalized. The result is that the marriage is deemed ended.


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